Domestic Violence - In the Workplace
According to Home Office statistics almost 1/3 of women and 1/5 of men aged between 16 - 59 had experienced one or more types of abuse at the hands of their current or former partner, at some time during the relationship.
Domestic violence can include physical abuse and verbal threats. It is, however, often more subtle than this and can include psychological games; controlling behaviour and intimidation. It affects all people, from all walks of life and many organisations are now recognising that they can help support members of staff. The TUC website confirms that it costs UK employers approximately £3 billion per year due to lost economical output. This can be actual absence, lack of motivation/application or having to leave the job for fear of the partner attending at work and many other similar scenarios.
Many companies have a staff handbook which sets out, in great detail, the work place rules, disciplinary procedures and family friendly rights and policies. It is likely that someone suffering domestic violence may have an impact on the business. However, it is also right that companies care about their staff and, in any event, have a duty of care towards them.
Many organisations are now helping their employees. This could be something as simple as having a domestic violence help line on a poster in the canteen. However, some employers are doing more such as:
- allowing staff to take time off at short notice for short periods without saying why;
- temporary mobile telephones;
- assistance with call screening;
- providing Counselling services to help with stress.
There are many professional domestic violence agencies such as Refuge or Woman's Aid that can help people. Sometimes the hardest thing is making the decision to try and find help and being overwhelmed about where to go.
At Clarion we can assist, both from an employment point of view and a personal point of view. Our Employment Team, headed by partner Richard Port, can assist in implementing such a policy. On a personal level, if you or members of staff are experiencing problems in a relationship, we can help. We have frequently attended Court on Applications for Non Molestation Orders and Occupation Orders. We also have good links with other organisations such as the Police, Refuges etc and is always happy to talk and explore all the options.
If you require further information please contact Justine Osmotherley at firstname.lastname@example.org on 0113 336 3323.
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